Township of East Brunswick, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of East Brunswick on 10-9-79 by Ord. No. 79-182 and deleting Chapter 72, Commercial Maintenance Code; Chapter 90, Unfit Dwellings; and Chapter 126, Housing Standards. Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
[Amended 6-12-17 by Ord. No. 17-25]
The New Jersey State Housing Code, as amended and supplemented from time to time, is hereby adopted in the Township of East Brunswick for the control of all residential and nonresidential structures and premises, and each of the regulations and provisions of the above referenced New Jersey Housing Code are hereby adopted and made a part of the Code of the Township of East Brunswick as if fully set forth herein.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; 6-12-17 by Ord. No. 17-25]
Three copies of the New Jersey State Housing Code have been placed on file in the Office of the Township Clerk and shall remain on file in such office for the use and examination of the public.
[Amended 8-28-89 by Ord. No. 89-56; 5-26-92 y Ord. No. 92-17; 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; 12-10-18 by Ord. No. 18-33]
A. 
Enforcement. The Property Maintenance Code of the Township of East Brunswick shall be administered by the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, and/or his/her designee within the East Brunswick Department of Planning & Engineering.
B. 
Notice Required for Certain Issues. If the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee is made aware of an unsafe structure, hazard, nuisance, or other issue of the type that is not defined with specificity within the code, the offending property owner shall be made aware of the unsafe structure, hazard, nuisance, or other issue by written notice. Such notice shall be served either in person, or by certified mail, return receipt requested to the address of the offending property owner.
C. 
Requirements of Notice. In all situations in which written notice shall be made to address property maintenance issues present upon a property within the Township, such notice shall be made being sure to include the following:
(1) 
In writing, signed by the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee.
(2) 
Identifying with specificity the offending condition present upon the property.
(3) 
An opportunity to cure within a reasonable amount of time specified with certainty.
(4) 
Photographic or other visual evidence supporting the allegation that the offending condition is present upon the property.
(5) 
Information that failure to cure within the specified time may lead to issuance of a summons as well as all other remedies available to the Township under law.
D. 
Summonses. Summonses for violation of this code shall be signed by the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee within the East Brunswick Department of Planning and Engineering. The summons shall make specific reference to the code provision being violated and details of the offending condition.
(1) 
Specific Violations. For any violation that is specifically defined within the code, the property owner shall be in violation of that provision, which the summons shall reference.
(2) 
All other violations. For all other issues that can only be generally identified in the code due to the various forms such violations might take, that property owner shall be in violation of this provision if that owner fails to cure a hazard or nuisance within the specified time as delineated in the Notice required under section 166.3.1(c)(iii).
E. 
Emergency Exception. Prior written notice shall not be necessary in any situation that rises to the level of an emergency or imminent hazard to public safety or welfare if left unmitigated or unresolved.
[Deleted 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
In addition to any other remedies which may be available, the Director of Public Safety or his representative, upon affidavit, may apply to the East Brunswick Municipal Court Judge for a search warrant setting forth factually the actual conditions and circumstances that provide a reasonable basis for believing that a nuisance or violation of this ordinance exists on the premises, and, if the Judge is satisfied as to the matter set forth in the affidavit, he shall authorize the issuance of a search warrant permitting access to and inspection of that part of the premises on which the nuisance or violation may exist.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this Code, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge or violation thereof, by reason of the fact that another person or entity is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Where the violation or condition existing on the premises is of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to life and limb unless abated without delay, the Zoning & Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee, may order the owner, operator or occupant to correct the violation or condition within the period of time consistent with the hazard involved and with the necessary measures necessary to remove the hazard; and, upon the failure of the operator, owner or occupant to correct said condition, the Zoning & Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee, may abate said condition.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; 1-23-17 by Ord. 17-02]
Where abatement of any nuisance as defined herein or correction of a defect on the premises or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition to conform to applicable ordinances of the Township of East Brunswick or the laws of the State of New Jersey requires expenditures of the Township of East Brunswick of moneys therefor, the Zoning & Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee, shall present a report of the work accomplished to the governing body of the Township of East Brunswick along with a summary of the proceedings undertaken to secure compliance including notices served upon owners, operators, occupants or their agents, as the case may be, by certified mail. The governing body shall then approve the expenses, administrative fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) and costs, whereupon they shall become a lien against the premises, collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving the said expenses shall be certified by the Township Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Township of East Brunswick, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof; and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
The exterior of the premises shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator to keep the premises free of hazards which include, but are not limited to the following:
A. 
Rubbish. Broken glass, filth, garbage, trash, litter and debris.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
B. 
Natural growth, brush, weeds, ragweeds, stumps, roots, and obnoxious growths; or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitutes a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
C. 
Overhangings. Loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and snow which, by reason of location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
D. 
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions. Holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots, parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps repaired and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions, with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery. It shall be the responsibility of owners and operators to take reasonable steps to discover any such hazards or unsanitary conditions which may exist on their premises.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
E. 
Recurring accumulations of stormwater. Adequate runoff drains shall be maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulation of stormwater.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
F. 
Sources of infestation.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Premises shall be kept in such a manner that lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and kept from becoming overgrown.
A. 
Turf grass and weeds shall not exceed more than 10 inches in height or more than 10 inches in length if matted down over twenty five percent of the grassed area on the subject property.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
B. 
Shrubs and Trees must be trimmed to eliminate impaired vision of pedestrians on the sidewalks or of vehicular traffic and to avoid impeding pedestrian movement.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
C. 
Heavily wooded properties may be maintained in a natural state.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
The owner and operator of every commercial area containing wholesale, retail, restaurant or service establishments shall be responsible for providing and/or maintaining the following:
A. 
The striping of parking spaces and directional arrows shall be maintained on a regular basis in accordance with applicable Fire and Traffic Safety regulations.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
B. 
A trash basket with at least a twenty gallon capacity shall be provided for each one hundred fifty (150) feet of commercial frontage. These baskets shall be placed in the walking or pedestrian area and shall be provided with tight-fitting covers fitted with hinged doors. In no case shall there be less than one (1) basket provided.
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
C. 
Fencing between non residential and residential areas shall not be removed and shall be maintained in good repair.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
D. 
All conditions of site plan approval issued pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
[Amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Section PM-405.5 If any room used for residential purposes is overcrowded, the code official may order the number of persons sleeping or living in said room to be reduced so that there shall be not less than the total area required in Table PM-405.5 MINIMUM OCCUPANCY AREA REQUIREMENTS.
TABLE PM-405.5
MINIMUM OCCUPANCY AREA REQUIREMENTS
MINIMUM OCCUPANCY AREA IN SQUARE FEET
SPACE
1-2 OCCUPANTS
3-5 OCCUPANTS
6 OR MORE
Living Room
No requirements
145
175
Dining Room
No requirements
100
120
Kitchen
50
70
85
Bedrooms
MUST COMPLY WITH SECTION PM-405.3
[Added 12-26-89 by Ord. No. 89-87; amended 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
The lighting in all commercial parking areas shall be maintained and replaced immediately on an on-going basis. The owners and tenants of commercial uses shall be responsible for the replacement of poles, stanchions, bulbs, starters, ballasts and whatever else may be necessary to keep all commercial parking areas fully lighted for the health, safety and welfare of pedestrian and drivers, in conformance with site plan approval.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Outside storage restricted. Outside storage or display of merchandise shall be forbidden in front of any commercial premises, on the pedestrian or walkway area or in the parking area in front of the commercial premises. Outside storage at the sides and rear shall be subject to the terms of Planning or Zoning Board approval. Sidewalk sale or special event permits are required for outside display and sales of merchandise or other materials.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
A. 
Useful items must be stored within a fully enclosed structure (such as a home, garage or shed) or screened from view from any adjacent property by a wall or fence within the rear yard area.
B. 
Storage of useful items shall not occupy more than 20% of the area of the rear yard.
C. 
Items must be stored in a such a manner as to discourage harborage of rodents, insects and other pests.
D. 
Items Exempt from Screening Requirement
Firewood
Bar-B-Que grills
Bicycles
Children's toys
Garden hoses and sprinklers
Lawn ornaments:
Statues
Whirligigs
Flamingos
Birdbaths, etc.
E. 
Items That Require Screening include but are not limited to:
Lawn and garden equipment:
Garden tools
Lawn mowers
Wheelbarrows
Tools
Ladders
Saw Horses
Vehicle parts
Building material:
Cement blocks
Lumber
Plywood, etc.
Storm windows and awnings
Dirt, sand and gravel (limit of 30 days)
F. 
All items should be stored behind the front building line.
G. 
Outside Storage - Residential Properties
Parking/Storage
Vehicles
1. 
Any motor vehicle must be parked on a parking area, such as a driveway, or in a garage or carport. Vehicles are not to be parked on the grass or in any area intended for landscaping.
2. 
An exception to this rule is recreational vehicles which may be stored in the side or rear yard.
A boat, trailer, RV, or camper can be stored in either the side yard or the rear yard of a residential area. It must be located behind the front of the residence and in the yard adjacent to a street in the case of a corner lot.
3. 
Parking of inoperable vehicles and/or vehicles that are not legally licensed shall be regulated by Chapter 206, Vehicles, Abandoned.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
All definitions in Chapter 132 and Chapter 228, Zoning shall also apply to this Chapter.
USEFUL ITEMS
Household objects which may have a use now or in the future. These items may include, but are not limited to: barrels, ladders, carts, lawn mowers or other lawn and garden equipment, tires and appliances.
UNIMPROVED LAND
Land in its natural state before development.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; amended 6-12-00 by Ord. No. 00-13]
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; amended 6-12-00 by Ord. No. 00-13]
No person shall engage in an outdoor sidewalk/parking lot sale event without having first obtained a permit from the Director of Planning and Engineering or his/her designee and which shall be prominently displayed at the permitted premises.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; amended 6-12-00 by Ord. No. 00-13]
The fee for a Sidewalk/Parking Lot Permit shall be $50.00 per each two week period.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; amended 6-12-00 by Ord. No. 00-13]
The applicant shall present the Director of Planning and Engineering or his/her designee with written permission from the property owner authorizing the sale. The application shall set forth the proposed method of clean up, a proposed layout of the outdoor display and sales area, the location, intensity and direction of all outdoor lighting and a plan for parking and traffic safety. Accompanying the application shall be a certificate of liability insurance for the protection of the general public. The Director of Planning and Engineering or his/her designee shall determine lighting, buffering to protect nearby residences, and proper siting on a particular piece of property and shall forward the application to the Director of Public Safety, who shall determine the adequacy of parking and traffic safety, ingress and egress and fire protection standards. If the application complies with the determinations made by the Director of Public Safety and the Director of Planning and Engineering or his/her designee, the Director of Planning and Engineering or his/her designee shall issue the permit.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
If the applicant proposes to locate a tent on a premises, it may be utilized only as a sales area and may not be occupied as living space. The use of a tent will require approval of the Fire Official. No hook-up to water or sewer is permitted. The applicant shall obtain an electrical permit if lighting is needed. Signs shall be unilluminated and can be no greater than 15 square feet in area. Signs must be placed at least 10 feet from the right-of-way. A maximum of 3 signs is permitted on the premises. No separate sign permit is required.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10; amended 6-12-00 by Ord. No. 00-13]
Each business operating in a separate location may obtain a Sidewalk/Parking Lot Sale Permit for a maximum of ten (10) weeks per calendar year.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
a. 
SIDEWALK/PARKING LOT SALE — A promotional sales event conducted by one or more businesses which is held outside the confines of the commercial or manufacturing structures in which such business is normally conducted and which sale involves the outdoor display of merchandise which is normally displayed within the structures within a paved or concrete area on the same lot as the structures. Sale events shall be conducted solely on private property and not encroach within public rights-of-way.
b. 
OUTDOOR DISPLAY AND SALES AREA — An area set aside outside of a building or structure, used in conjunction with a business located within the building or structure on the same property, for exhibiting in an orderly manner finished products sold by a business located on the same property.
[Added 2-22-99 by Ord. No. 99-10]
Nothing herein contained shall be interpreted to preclude any interested party from filing a complaint in Municipal Court, if the interested party is dissatisfied with a written decision of the Zoning/Code Enforcement Officer and/or his/her designee as it relates to the issuance of a summons. All such complaints must be filed within 20 days of the interested party's receipt of the Zoning/Code Enforcement Officer's and/or his/her designee's notice of decision.
[Added 10-8-18 by Ord. No. 18-23]
OWNER
Shall include the title holder, any agent of the title holder having authority to act with respect to a vacant property, any foreclosing entity subject to the provisions of, or any other entity determined by the Township of East Brunswick to have authority to act with respect to the property.
VACANT PROPERTY
Shall mean any building or structure intended for or having an existing commercial, industrial, mixed-use, single or multifamily residential use, and which is not legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful commercial, business, construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased, or said structure is in such condition that it cannot legally be occupied without repair, renovation, or rehabilitation; provided, however, that any property that contains all building systems or components in working order and is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental, shall not be deemed vacant. Property determined to be "abandoned property" in accordance with the meaning of such term in the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq., which shall include commercial, industrial, single or multifamily, or mixed-use residential structures are deemed to be vacant property for the purposes of this section. However, the owner or owner's agent shall maintain and secure the property even if the property, building, or structure has been placed for sale or rental until such time as the property, building, or structure is sold or rented and occupied.
A. 
Effective January 1, 2019, the owner of any vacant property or structure as defined herein shall within sixty (60) days after the building or structure becomes vacant property or within thirty (30) days after assuming ownership of the vacant property or structure, whichever is later, file a registration statement for said vacant property or structure with the Code Enforcement Officer on forms provided by the Township of East Brunswick for such purposes. The registration shall remain in effect for a calendar year (January to December). The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually due in January 1 as long as the building or structure remains vacant property and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed in subsection 166-19.4 of this section for said vacant property registered.
B. 
Any owner of any building that meets the definition of vacant property prior to January 1, 2018, shall file a registration statement for that property on or before March 1, 2019. The registration statement shall include the information required under the appropriate subsection of this section as well as any additional information that the Township may reasonably require.
C. 
The owner shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer or any other designated Township representative within thirty (30) days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Township for such purpose.
D. 
The registration statement shall be deemed an official record and business record in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the Township of East Brunswick against the owner, owners, or other responsible parties responsible for the building or structure.
Editor's Note: Registration form located at the end of Section 166-19.
After filing a registration statement or a renewal of a registration statement, the owner of any vacant property or structure shall provide access by the Township's agent or representative to conduct an exterior inspection of the building to determine compliance with the Municipal Code, following reasonable notice, during the period covered by the initial registration or any subsequent renewal.
A. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address and telephone number of a person twenty-one (21) years of age or older, designated by the owner or owners as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process, in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding, on behalf of such owner or owners in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code. This person must maintain an office in the State of New Jersey. The statement shall also include the name of the person responsible for the maintenance and security of the property, if different.
B. 
An owner who is a person who meets the requirements of this section as to location of residence or office may designate him or herself as agent.
C. 
By designating an authorized agent under the provisions of this section the owner or designated agent consents to receive any and all notices of code violations concerning the registered vacant property and all process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the registered building by service of the notice or process on the authorized agent. Any owner who has designated an authorized agent under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to consent to the continuation of the agent's designation for the purposes of this section until the owner notifies the Township's agent or representative of a change of authorized agent or until the owner files a new annual registration statement. The designation of an authorized agent in no way releases the owner from any requirement of this section.
The initial registration fee for each building shall be five hundred ($500.00) dollars. The fee for the first renewal is one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars, and the fee for the second renewal is one thousand five hundred ($1,500.00) dollars. The fee for any subsequent renewal beyond the second renewal is two thousand ($2,000.00) dollars.
Vacant Property/Building Registration Fee Schedule
Initial registration
$500.00
First renewal
$1,000.00
Second renewal
$1,500.00
Any subsequent renewal
$2,000.00
The owner, owners, or the authorized agent of any building that has become or is a vacant property, and any person maintaining, operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant shall, within thirty (30) days. Shall enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry (until the building is legally occupied or demolished or until repair or rehabilitation of the building is complete) as provided in the applicable provisions of the State of New Jersey and the Township of East Brunswick, or as set forth in rules and regulations adopted by the Township of East Brunswick to supplement those codes.
The Township of East Brunswick may issue rules and regulations for the administration of the provisions of this section, as it deems necessary.
A. 
Any owner who is not in full compliance with this Section 166-19 or who otherwise violates any provision of this section or of the rules and regulations issued hereunder shall be in addition to the payment of the prescribed licensing fee subject to a fine of not less than two hundred ($200.00) dollars and not more than one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Fines assessed under this section shall be recoverable from the owner and shall be a lien on the property and all such legal fees associated with any reasonable cost recoverable from the owner as well.
B. 
For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration statement in time, failure to provide correct information on the registration statement, failure to comply with the provisions of subsection 166-19.2 through and including subsection 166-19.5 of this section, or such other matters as may be established by the rules and regulations of the Township of East Brunswick shall be deemed to be violations of this section.
C. 
Nothing in this section is intended to nor shall be read to conflict or prevent the Township of East Brunswick from taking action against owners of buildings or structures found to be unfit for human habitation or are unsafe structures as provided in applicable provision of the Code of the Township of East Brunswick, including but not limited to provisions of the State or Township Building or Property Maintenance Codes. Further, any action taken under any such code provision other than the demolition of a structure shall relieve an owner from its obligations under this section.
Editor's Note: The Registration Form for Abandoned/Vacant Commercial or Residential Properties is included as an attachment to this chapter.